Inland Reptile

Description

This is a very small species averaging only 2-3ft in length. This extremely small stature ranks among the three smallest of the world’s python species. Males can mature at an extremely small size and I have personally had males actively breed as small as 60g.
The color and pattern characteristics of this species vary considerably throughout their large distribution. This variation has led one researcher (Smith (1985)) to split A stimsoni into two sub-species. Under this revision the western coastal populations would be designated as A stimsoni, stimsoni while all other more eastern populations were designated as A stimsoni, orientalis. The descriptions of these designations are vague and inconsistent, relying on color and pattern elements as well as minor differences in scale counts with considerable overlap between each of the proposed taxons. As a result many do not currently recognize these sub-species as valid.
Generally all Stimsons' pythons are brown snakes with large irregular blotches on a pale background. Animals from the western portion of their range tend to have the greatest contrast with some displaying nearly red blotches on a very pale background.. Animals from the northern limits of their range exhibit less contrast in pattern and typically have smaller blotches, possibly due to the influence of nearby populations of A childreni.

Habitat

Stimsons pythons inhabit quite arid areas throughout much of their range. Similar to many other Australian taxons, A stimsoni can be found in rocky areas including rock ridges and escarpments as well as in the many low mountain ranges found within their range. These animals can also be found in a variety of other habitats such as savannah, spinifex, scrub land, thinly wooded forest and even caves where they are known to feed on bats.

Distribution

Antaresia stimsoni is the most widely distributed of all Australian pythons. This species ranges over much of the coast of Western Australia, including the Pilbara where it is sympatric with the pigmy python (A perthensis). Their range extends eastward throughout most of the Australian interior, but is absent from coastal areas. The eastern border of its range is formed by the Great Dividing Range, which along most of its length separates A stimsoni from A maculosa. This barrier is not absolute and the two species share a limited area of hybridization in the vicinity of Mt. Isa, Queensland. Similarly A stimsoni hybridizes with A childreni along the northern portions of its range.

Projects

I am currently working with a group of animals of Northern Territory origin.

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